As featured in The Wall Street Journal, Money Magazine, and more!

January 2007

Ben Stein: Invest in 2007 or You’ll Regret It!

by Luke Landes

Before we get started with the details in US News & World Report’s Investing Guide, Ben Stein (actor, speech writer, guru) has some strategies to share with those wondering what to do with their money this year. Here are his thoughts. Dollar? Dollar? Dollar? The decline of the USD will continue as the United States ... Continue reading this article…

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US News Annual Investing Guide, Part 1

by Luke Landes

Yesterday, Nagel write in with a question: Are many predicting a recession? Over the past few months, I’ve heard some anecdotal predictions for the stock market in 2007 including the Dow and S&P 500 reaching record levels, a topsy-turvy year, a typical “up” third year of a presidential cycle, a correction, and yes, even a ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives

by Luke Landes

I’m continuing a retrospective this entire year, to benefit new readers who may have missed these articles the first time around. Here is a taste of what you may have missed this week over the past few years. Some have active discussions you may find interesting. From January 8-14, 2006: * Recession Prediction * To ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

The creative juices at Get Rich Slowly were flowing this weekend as J.D. prepared the latest edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance. Even if you have already, take a look at the 82nd edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance, with a superhero theme. Here are some articles I’ve enjoyed so far. * ToddlerSpit: ... Continue reading this article…

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Repealing the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT)

by Luke Landes

The Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) is a rule that was established in the United States tax code to make sure rich people don’t take advantage of loopholes to the point where they owe no tax to the government. The minimum income required to qualify for the AMT was never adjusted for inflation, so over time, ... Continue reading this article…

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Weekly Blog Roundup and New Blog Blog

by Luke Landes

Here are some of the interesting articles I’ve noticed within and beyond the MoneyBlogNetwork over the past week. AllFinancialMatters has a question to watch out for. Blueprint for Financial Prosperity plays the Devil’s Advocate and has some sensible reasons for renting rather than buying a house. Five Cent Nickel has some 0 percent balance transfer offers. ... Continue reading this article…

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Attention Bloggers: Carnival Submissions Due Soon

by Luke Landes

Get Rich Slowly will be hosting the Carnival of Personal Finance on Monday, January 8. If you have one, please submit a well-written, recent article on personal finance, by Sunday evening. Here’s what J.D. says when asking for submissions: Please share only your best work, and only articles about personal finance. Writers often submit stuff ... Continue reading this article…

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Do I Need to Report This Income? Part 2

by Luke Landes

One of the biggest questions when tax time rolls around has to do with income. Not everything comes neatly reported on W-2s and 1099s. What else needs to be reported to the IRS? As I’ve been finding out, just about everything else should be reported. Yesterday, I shared a few types of income that should ... Continue reading this article…

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New Quicken 2007 Update Available

by Luke Landes

While updating my accounts tonight, I noticed Intuit is offering a new patch to update Quicken 2007 to “Release 3.” Here is what they say is included with the new software. * Taxes. Incorporated 2006 tax rate changes. * Toolbar. Fixed an issue where newly added icons were not being retained on the toolbar. * ... Continue reading this article…

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Beginning Employee Stock Purchase Plan

by Luke Landes

Although it was first announced in 2005 to begin in 2006, my company’s employee stock purchase plan was not finalized until a few months ago, and scheduled begin this month. On Friday, I’ll receive my first paycheck with 10 percent of my salary automatically deducted and transferred to a holding account at E*Trade. There it will ... Continue reading this article…

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Do I Need to Report This Income? Part 1

by Luke Landes

In general, if you have to ask whether you need to report certain income to the IRS, the most likely answer is, “Yes.” Here are some examples, courtesy of MSN Money. Q. I hosted a party to sell products to my friends (and use my social circle for multilevel marketing from some corporation), and my ... Continue reading this article…

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This Week in the Archives

by Luke Landes

Many readers have come to this site sometime within the last year. The archives at Consumerism Commentary go back to 2003, so in case there’s something you’ve missed, I’ll post some links to older articles every so often. From January 1-7, 2006: * Rebate Scams * Review of Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy ... Continue reading this article…

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Don’t Feel Bad if You Have a Messy Desk

by Luke Landes

There may be a negative correlation between creativity and tidy desks. If there is, that would probably explain my work space. I’ve had managers in the past who encourage organizing the piles of paper and other managers who do not care. Well, I listened to a short piece on NPR’s Marketplace which mentioned a new ... Continue reading this article…

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10 Things Your Gym Won’t Tell You

by Luke Landes

Just when I’m considering becoming a member at a gym to help myself stay in shape, SmartMoney publishes 10 Things Your Gym Won’t Tell You. If you’re looking for a demotivator to keep you from spending money for a membership that many find a waste of money, this article has what you’re looking for. Here ... Continue reading this article…

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Do I Have to Declare Goals?

by Luke Landes

Tired but happy asked whether she really has to declare her goals for 2007. Last week, I wrote about goals for 2007 in three parts: Share Your Goals, The Basics, and Flexo’s 2007 Goals) and inspired those already thinking about their goals to share the details online and possibly those who weren’t thinking about goals ... Continue reading this article…

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Monthly Reminder: Susbscribe to Consumerism Commentary

by Luke Landes

Here’s a great way to ensure you won’t miss anything at Consumerism Commentary. It’s really easy to subscribe to our RSS feed in your favorite feed reader or get newest blog entries in your emailbox. It’s all about convenience. And by the way, the RSS feeds contain full entries so you never even have to ... Continue reading this article…

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The Carnival is Up!

by Luke Landes

Mighty Bargain Hunter was the first host of the Carnival of Personal Finance for the new year! Start your week off right by reading a bit of what the blogosphere offers in recent personal finance articles. Here are some consumer-related to start with: * My Two Dollars writes about The Art of the Complaint and ... Continue reading this article…

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Pathetic Check: Interest on Security Deposit

by Luke Landes

Since I rent rather than own the apartment in which I live, my landlord is required by law to keep the security deposit I paid several years ago in an interest-bearing savings account. Although it would have been better if the company kept the security deposits in a high-yield online savings account, the funds are ... Continue reading this article…

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Personal Income Statement, December 2006 (Net Income: $2,866)

by Luke Landes

The following table describes my income and expenses for the month of December 2006. It follows my balance sheet, so if you’re interested in peeking into my finances, take a look there first. Otherwise, read on to find out how I ended up with $2,866 after all my expenses were paid this month.

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Personal Balance Sheet, December 2006 ($70,108, +4.19%)

by Luke Landes

Thanks to dividends paid to me in my 401(k), I broke past $70,000 to close out the year at $70,108! I know that among 30-year-old financial bloggers like myself, that may not be an impressive number. Considering most of my adult life I was making less than the cost of working, I’m satisfied so far. ... Continue reading this article…

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